We all know that Marvel Studios is mapping out an ambitious shared film universe for its upcoming batch of movies. But will Warner Brothers Pictures and DC Comics try the same thing with the new Batman and Superman films coming out next year?
The answer is no, says producer Charles Roven, who is part of the producing team behind all of Christopher Nolan's Batman films and the upcoming Superman reboot, which Nolan is also producing. Asked by Shock Till You Drop if the new Superman (due out winter 2012) and The Dark Knight Rises (due out summer 2012) could conceivably exist in the same reality, Roven said, "That may be in somebody's mind, but right now the Batman lives in his world and the Superman lives in his world. Those stories are those stories, and we haven't thought beyond each individual picture."
That also makes it unlikely that either film will cross-reference with this summer's Green Lantern or the Flash movie that's also in development. And that's a complete 180-degree turn from what Marvel is doing, which is having all its movies (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America) tie into each other and point the way for the big 2012 superhero team-up of The Avengers.
There are pros and cons to both approaches: Warner Brothers and DC would like each comic-book franchise to stand on its own merits, but could miss the opportunity to create a mega-event like a Justice League movie (which was in development a couple of years ago but fell apart). That's what Marvel is aiming for with its films.
On the other hand, if either Thor or Captain America or both stumble at the box office this summer, that could seriously hurt Marvel's prospects for The Avengers to become a massive box-office hit (fanboys alone won't be enough to do it) and also jeopardize the studio's future projects.
The rest of Roven's interview is mostly about the new film Season of the Witch, which he also produced, but there are some additional tidbits about The Dark Knight Rises and Superman. While he doesn't give away much, at least we know for sure that the cinematic Man of Steel and Caped Crusader won't be comparing notes and sharing crimefighting tips anytime soon.